Best Historical Movies I Watched for the First Time Last School Year (2022-23)

   Hi friends! I hope you've had a lovely start to your summer! I greatly enjoy a good historical movie and got to watch several for the first time over the last school year, so I thought I'd share my favorites with you today. Most of these are set at least fifty years ago, but one is set around twenty years and one is a contemporary; I still thought they should be included, though! Read on to find out what they are! 

Best historical dramas

The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C. S. Lewis

   Definitely my favorite movie I watched last school year, this one tells the story of C. S. Lewis (one of my favorite writers!) It's made as if an older Lewis is narrating the story, and nearly all the narration comes directly from his writings. Lewis takes us from the time he was a young boy, through his teenage years, his military service during WWI, his time as a university student, and all the way until he was in his thirties, showing all the people and experiences God was using to draw Lewis to himself until he finally surrendered his life to Christ and found what he had been searching for--joy. It's a beautiful movie that stirred in me a longing for the coming Kingdom. 

Sabina: Tortured for Christ, The Nazi Years 

   The gospel changes us. Things that once seemed important and pleasurable now seem empty. And things that we once saw no value in become dearer than life itself. Jesus changes our hearts, our desires, our affections, our pleasures. He fills us with His light and His love. This movie is a beautiful picture of that. It's the story of how Jesus changed the lives of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, a young Jewish couple living in Romania, when it was taken over by the Nazis during WWII. Though it's a very sad movie, as Sabina's entire family was killed in a concentration camp, it's a movie with a powerful message. 

The Lumber Baron

   Set in Wisconsin near the beginning of the twentieth century, The Lumber Baron, follows Daniel Rimsdale, the oldest son of a well-to-do family, who after the unexpected death of his father, returns home and tries to save his family's struggling lumber business. He ends up undertaking an undercover investigation in the logging camp to uncover what--or who--is really behind his father's death and his family's business failing. Though not an explicitly Christian movie, it does showcase biblical values of family, hard work, and other admirable qualities. 

Little Women (2019)

   Of the Little Women movie adaptations I've seen, I think Greta Gerwig's 2019 one is my favorite. Again, this is not an explicitly Christian movie, and while I don't agree with all of Louisa May Alcott's beliefs, I still greatly enjoyed this movie. It has lovely costumes (which is a big deal to me!) and it's a sweet story reminding us of the importance of family. 

Mercy Streets

   This is the one set approximately twenty years ago. Estranged twin brothers, one a deacon in an Episcopal church and the other a con man, accidentally switch places. With a mix of humor, seriousness, action, and suspense, this is an enjoyable movie that ultimately points us to redemption in Christ and reminds us of what's most important in life. 

Best documentaries and shows

Patterns of Evidence: Journey to Mount Sinai Part One

One of my favorite documentary series is Patterns of Evidence. Like the rest of investigative filmmaker Timothy Mahoney's films, this one did not disappoint. Packed full of fascinating archaelogical and biblical evidence, this first part of the journey to Mount Sinai was excellently done. Now I'm looking forward to the continuation of the search for the location of Mount Sinai in Part Two! 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Memories and Perspectives

   One of the people from history who inspires me the most is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a man of incredible courage who was willing to do what was right no matter the cost. (You can read my blog post about him here.) While pulling an overnight shift taking care of puppies (by the way, you can learn more about my family's Bernese Mountain Dog puppies here), I watched this documentary about Bonhoeffer. What I loved most about it is that it includes actual footage of Dietrich's family and friends sharing their memories of him. 

Wild West Chronicles

   Chronicling true stories of the American West, this docudrama (mostly drama) series was one my family and I very much enjoyed. Telling the stories of guys (and girls!) both good and bad including Bass Reeves, Annie Oakley, Butch Cassidy, and several others, this excellent series reenacts the great tales of the Wild West. 



  This is the contemporary one I wanted to include because my family and I enjoyed it so much. A Christian-produced crime drama series set in Texas, it follows Detective Gary Travis. It's intense, at times humorous, and definitely not too predictable. I thought Season 2 was better than Season 1, and now I'm eagerly anticipating Season 3. I don't think my family has ever discussed a show as much as we've discussed this one. We've had a great time trying to guess what will happen next and discussing the themes. 


   Well, there you have it! What about you? What are some of your favorite historical movies? Have you seen any of the ones I mentioned, and if so, what do you think of them? Leave a comment below! 

   Always remember, "He who calls you is faithful who also will do it," (1 Thessalonians 5:24. 

   All for Him, 

Savannah Jane


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